Justice Update: Feed & Read Ohio + Defending our Rights

Feed & Read Ohio, Gratitude, and Defending our Rights


Dear First UU,

There’s hope in the air with spring and the vaccine now available to everyone 16 and up in Ohio. But I’ve also heard from many of you a sense of unease with much going on in the world. It can be easy to feel like as one person, there’s not much you can do. But the truth is that working together as a community, we are already making a difference. I’ve received so much gratitude to First UU this month for many different types of work that have done this year, and I thought I’d share them with you all below. As a famous chant says, “The people united will never be defeated!”

This month, our Justice Update features some ways First UU makes a difference in food insecurity, through partnership with Jacques Angelini’s programs Feed and Read Ohio and Feed My Sheep. Watch Stuart Smith’s interview of Jacques to learn about JAM’s Food Insecurity Focus Group, and “rescuing food.” Watch ’til the end to learn more about how you can help!

Watch the video below!

And don’t forget to scroll down for some sweet thank-yous to First UU and to check out opportunities to keep making a difference in our world.

Peace and love to you wherever you may be in this moment,

Amanda Hays
Justice Coordinator

Feed & Read Ohio Interview

Watch ’til the end to learn more about how you can help!

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Thank You from Miriam Vargas

Through her interpreter, Miriam Vargas, who until recently was in Sanctuary at First English Lutheran,  sends her gratitude for all of the cards she was sent through First UU’s Card Shower:

“Thank you so much. I’m so thankful. What a beautiful detail, I feel so loved by you all. Honestly, thanks a million, may God bless you all always for the amazing support. I’m so happy. Thank you.”

Thank you from Community Refugee & Immigrant Services (CRIS)

Listen to Tyler Reeve, director of Development and Engagement at CRIS, share his heartfelt gratitude to First UU for our monetary support during the pandemic:

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Thank you from Faith Mission

We have received a thank you letter from Faith Mission though our volunteer coordinator, Donna Greenman. During non-pandemic times, First UU volunteers cooked 2 meals per month, but since last March, we’ve been sending money for 2 meals per month:

March 2, 2021

Dear First Unitarian Universalist Church:

Your thoughtful compassion is providing a warm welcome during the unbearable cold of winter. Thank you for your gift of $320.00 to LSS Faith Mission, which we received on 2/24/2021.

Your generous gift during the pandemic is already hard at work providing relief for those escaping winter on the streets in our community. You have given them warm refuge, hearty meals and warm, dry clothes. You have made them feel welcomed and supported. You have provided resources they need to restore their lives, regain their strength and move forward.

Along with providing shelter to 1,908 men and women last year, LSS Faith Mission, a part o fthe LSS Network of Hope, also offered assistance with longer-term solutions such as permanent housing and employment. In addition, our health center saw 7,009 visits to its medical, dental, behavioral health and vision clinics, and our community kitchen, which serves three meals a day every day, served 207,975 meals. We feel extremely fortunate to have your support and commitment. Together we are creating a better world by serving people in need. 

Thank you! 

Warm Regards,

Sue Villilo, Assistant Vice President of Community-Based Services, Lutheran Social Services

How Can UU Take Action?

I’m excited to announce that what was our Justice Bingo Card has evolved into its own page on our website. Just click on the “Justice” tab, then click “Take Action.”

We will keep it updated so that opportunities to take action that you see are current. Check it out: https://firstuucolumbus.org/justice-action-ministry/justice-action/


Featured Justice Opportunities

Defend our First Amendment Rights

Four bills threaten our First Amendment Rights to protest in Ohio, with a particular aim against the tactics of Black Lives Matter. One of them would make it a felony to “distract” a police officer! We need to defend the rights of Black activists, and all of our rights. On April 10, First UU will join UU Justice Ohio and the Our Voices Together coalition in “Protesting While We Can.” This will be a creative and fun demonstration of how peaceful acts of free speech like writing with sidewalk chalk and blowing bubbles would become felonies in Ohio if these bills became law.

There will also be a statewide Online Story Circle at the same time for those who cannot make it in person.:  We will share our stories about how we feel about the 4 anti protest bills taking away our freedom of speech. This will be a Zoom meeting made public on Facebook live.

Environmental Justice Webinar

Join an Apr 6, 2021 7:00 PM panel discussion on the intersection of environmental justice and education with a focus on marginalized communities. This event will include speakers from the OSU and Columbus community. This event is being hosted by Students for Educational Equity; anyone is welcome to attend. Hosted by Angela R’s son, who is a student at OSU. Register for this webinar at: https://osu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcudemgpz8iHNDQmrCvhvvxOEUDc1E3_pmA